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  • Print publication year: 2019
  • Online publication date: June 2019

Chapter 12 - Beckett and Mathematics

from III - New Hermeneutic Codes


In 1981, Beckett drafted a short two-part text entitled The Way, a version of which would appear in College Literature with the title “Criss-Cross to Infinity.”. This short text resonates with much of Beckett’s other work because it progresses a narrative via perambulation, and because the text revolves around a number, of sorts. Echoing key elements of Mercier and Camier (1946), Molloy and Malone Dies (both 1951), Enough (1965), and Quad (1981), The Way replaces rising and falling action, climax, and denouement with perambulatory rhythm. Common to all of these texts is also the seemingly oxymoronic “choreographed walk,” a combination of the aimless and the predetermined.